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An April 20, 2020 article by Ron Radosh published on the Daily Beast website re: Schlafly’s secret membership in the John Birch Society produced a controversy which subsequently was discussed by the John Birch Society’s most prolific contemporary essayist (Alex Newman). See links below.
RON RADOSH ARTICLE:
ALEX NEWMAN REBUTTAL:
For some unknown reason, Phyllis Schlafly always lied when asked whether or not she was a member of the John Birch Society. She lied even to her biographers (Donald Critchlow and Carol Felsenthal). See attached letters for substantiation concerning her membership and her resignation in 1964.
Phyllis and her husband (Fred) joined the JBS in the summer of
1959 after attending a JBS recruitment meeting in Chicago.
The attached December 1959 letter from Phyllis to Verne Kaub
(American Council of Christian Laymen--Madison WI) acknowledges her membership.
I found it many years ago in the records of ACCL which are archived at the Wisconsin
State Historical Society.
In the February 1960 issue of the John Birch Society Bulletin,
Robert Welch described Phyllis as “a very loyal member of the John Birch Society”.
Phyllis resigned from the Society in 1964 because she did not want her new book, A Choice Not An Echo, to be associated with her membership in the JBS.
In August 1964, JBS founder/leader Robert Welch wrote a lengthy letter to the wife of JBS National Council member Thomas J. Anderson (Mrs. Carolyn Anderson) to address what Welch described as “rumblings about your discontent over our discouragement of any massive exploitation of Phyllis Schlafly’s A CHOICE NOT AN ECHO by the American Opinion Library in Nashville” during the 1964 Presidential campaign.
Welch then explained, in confidence, that the action he and the JBS took “was specifically at the request of Phyllis Schlafly herself. Phyllis has been a good friend of mine for a long time” and “…I thought her book was excellent, and was going to be very helpful in the campaign. But she, and obviously some of the Goldwater higher-ups with whom she was in close association, were extremely fearful…that the usefulness and effectiveness of the book…could be nullified by the enemy if they could tie it in any way to The John Birch Society; and that any such development might actually damage rather than help the total Goldwater cause. Confidentially, Phyllis even resigned from the Society when she brought the book out, in order to avoid this possibility.” [08/19/64 letter by Robert Welch to Mrs. Tom Anderson, 2220 Woodmond Blvd., Nashville TN, pages 2-3].
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